2014 Storage Trends – 4th of 5 - "Hybrid"
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In my Storage Trends that I published in Dec 2011, I discussed the real adoption of “private” clouds, the intrigue of “public” clouds, and the “future” state of this thing called Hybrid Clouds (a mixed blend of both private and public cloud deployments.) Well, here we are at the start of 2014, and “Hybrid” is a well understood concept. In fact, I’d contend that as we progress forward, the term “cloud” itself will morph into inherently implying “hybrid”. Consumption of IT capabilities as a service will be delivered both on premise, owned by an internal IT team, and off premise, owned by a trusted provider.
Hybrid (specifically hybrid storage and data protection clouds) is no longer hype. Nearly every IT shop speculated that hybrid cloud storage was the future of enterprise storage and in 2014 the future is here. All leading organizations will have some variation of a hybrid cloud storage system in 2014 and those who do not will at least begin the adoption process through a private cloud. Why? Simple…data growth & economics. The amount of data that organizations continue to produce, and the dirty little secret that everyone is a data hoarder, will drive this need for ‘hybrid’. Economics, keep the REALLY important data local, and send the rest off to some low cost, trusted facility to manage the rest. Hopefully the budget works.
Now, I must admit, there are many stars that must align to make this happen, like organizations getting comfortable sending data off-site, IT teams actually implementing technology to help them be efficient like compression, de-duplication, data segmentation, tiering, and ultimately disposal, and probably the most difficult for any organization – declaring what data is “most important”. This is where the trusted business partners play a critical role. This emerging business dynamic and client need has not gone unnoticed by the partner community. With more and more businesses shifting to managed service providers (MSPs), value-added resellers (VARs) will become service providers in addition to license and on-premise providers to become a hybrid VAR/MSP – offering both VAR & MSP capabilities. As partners ramp up their delivery of elastic storage capacity and backup as a service, the industry will see accelerated adoption in enterprises (private cloud), as an off-premise managed service (public cloud), and across both (hybrid cloud) based on cost, compliance, security and criticality of data to the enterprise.
Even at a cultural level, changes will be necessary. IT teams used to thinking of enterprise data as "their baby" are going to have to get comfortable with the idea that the baby is now living somewhere else. But again, the cost/simplified management argument is inevitably going to trump that cultural resistance.
What are your predictions for storage management in 2014? Leave us your thoughts in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter at @steve_woj.